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Renting a car in Turkey?
This car rental in Turkey guide has you covered. Plus, practical tips on driving in Turkey as a whole. I will walk you through the process of car hire in Turkey and all the practical information to get you seamlessly on the road.
The Turkish car rental procedure is pretty straightforward and safe and renting a car in Turkey is one of the best ways to see the country!
I RECOMMEND DISCOVER CARS!
Discover Cars works with local Turkish companies and large international companies to find you the cheapest price based on your needs. Plus, some providers even offer a free additional driver!
The great thing about Discover Cars is you can add full Turkish car rental insurance for only $7USD a day. Super affordable >> BOOK NOW
If you are looking for information on renting a car in Turkey for your Turkey road trip, you’ve come to the right place. This guide on driving in Turkey and how to rent a car in Turkey will take you through everything you need to know before travelling to Turkey.
You may have questions like: Is it safe to drive in Turkey? Can I even rent a car in Turkey? What car rental insurance do I need? I’ll answer all your questions, plus give you some tips for driving in Turkey, amongst much more.
Rent a Car in Turkey FAQ
Is Driving in Turkey Safe?
Is it safe to drive in Turkey? You might be surprised to know that driving in Turkey is quite pleasant. All major cities are linked by major motorways that are in great condition due to tolls.
Once you get into more rural areas and especially in central and eastern Anatolia, you may see roads become less ideal, but still drivable. If you follow this 10 day Turkey itinerary, you should be just fine.
If you decide to drive at night during your road trip Turkey, then make sure to watch out for livestock roaming the road in rural areas.
The most common Turkish driving issues are ignoring passing in non-passing zones, not using turn signals, not stopping behind the red light, etc. Generally speaking, driving your Turkey car rental is both safe and convenient.
Things to avoid while you are in Turkey driving a car are large cities. Metropolises like Istanbul and Ankara are massive with very confusing and hectic traffic. Plus, after spending over a week in Istanbul, renting a car to see the city isn’t your best option anyway.
In my opinion, it is safe to drive in Turkey and is an excellent way to see the country.
When Not to Rent a Car Turkey
- If you are uncomfortable driving in different countries
- You haven’t driven in awhile
- If you are only visiting one city in Turkey
Should I Rent a Car in Turkey?
Car hire Turkey gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility for your time in Turkey. Turkey is a large country, and attractions like Istanbul, Cappadocia, the Pamukkale thermal pools, and the ruins of Ephesus are all located far apart.
One of the biggest perks about a car rental Turkey, is you can visit more of the hidden gems in Turkey that normal transportation doesn’t access. And, you can stop at scenic viewpoints along your drive. Renting a car in Turkey is really the best way to see the country.
What’s the Cheapest Car Rental Company in Turkey?
I recommend Discover Cars as the best car rental in Turkey and the most economical since they compare local, national and international rental companies to get you the cheapest price based on your needs. Some of the cheapest independent Turkey rental companies, like AutoUnion, Green Motion and Pandora, can be found on Discover Cars.
How Much Does Renting a Car in Turkey Cost?
The longer you rent the car, the less expensive the daily rate will be. If you decide to only rent for one day to get around a city, which I don’t recommend, it’s about $90USD base price. If you are renting for two weeks, it’s about $25USD a day as a base rate for a budget car rental Turkey.
Remember to add the $7USD/day full insurance coverage and you can get a good estimate on a rental car price in Turkey. What’s nice about Discover Cars is a lot of the providers will allow you to add an additional driver for free.
Can I Rent a Car in Turkey?
In terms of driving in Turkey requirements for renting a car, there are only three things you need to keep in mind.
You Must be 21 to Rent a Car in Turkey
Visitors crossing the border into Turkey with their own vehicles must be 18 years of age. If renting a vehicle within Turkey, you will need to show that you are 21 years of age or older.
You Must Hold a Valid Drivers License
You will not be required to show an international driver’s permit if you plan to drive around Turkey for less than 90 days. If you will be staying for longer than 90 days, you will need a valid IDP.
As a Canadian, I always hold a valid IDP while travelling to make it easier to communicate with traffic officials and rental car companies about my license validity. So, it’s entirely up to you.
You Must Have a Credit Card
Discover Cars and most rental car Turkey companies require you to present a credit card when picking up your Turkey car rental. They will process a security deposit on your credit card in case of any incident or damage.
If the car is lost or damaged, you can lose this security deposit, so I would recommend opting to purchase the $7USD full insurance coverage that comes with the rental car Turkey.
Renting a Car in Turkey
Looking to take a Turkey road trip? You can find a few different rental car companies located at most airports in the country and some at city centres, too. But, the easiest and most convenient way to rent a car in Turkey is to book your rental car through DiscoverCars before you arrive, and at least a couple of weeks in advance, if possible.
DiscoverCars is a great way to find the best cost and type of car that suits you and your travelling needs.
What Do you Need When Renting a Car in Turkey?
- Valid drivers license from country of residence (that you have held for at least a year)
- An international drivers permit if you plan to drive in Turkey for more than 90 days
- A credit card
Things to Ask your Car Rental Company
One of the most common hesitations with renting a car is the hidden fees and requirements. Come prepared with questions before you process your payment at the checkout counter.
- Do I need a credit card to purchase a rental car in Turkey? For Discover Cars, you will need a credit card
- Can I drive outside of Turkey with your Turkish rental car?
- What type of fuel do I fill the rental car with?
- What toll collection system is available in my rental car?
- Should I return the gas tank full?
What Kind of Turkish Cars are for Rent?
You will find common North American car brands like Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Nissan. European cars like Renault and Fiat are also included and are well-known and trusted brands.
About 80% of Car Rentals in Turkey are Stick-Shift (Manual) and take Diesel Fuel
Does it Cost to have a Second Driver when Renting a Car in Turkey?
Yes, it will usually cost you to add an additional driver to your Turkey car rental reservation. If you are booking through Discover Cars, I’ve noticed a lot of companies offering to add a free second driver, but generally speaking, yes you will need to pay.
An additional driver will cost anywhere from $4 USD – $20 USD a day. Turkey car rental companies can also charge by the total rental period which can be around 15-20% of the total cost.
Is it Safe to Rent a Car in Turkey?
Absolutely, yes. It is very safe to rent a car in Turkey. The majority of Turkey car rental companies are very honest and helpful, so renting a car should be quite a breeze. The only thing to note is safety while driving the roads.
For the most part, Turkey roads are well-maintained and easy to navigate. If you plan to drive in Turkey in winter though, (like skiing in Bursa), I’d recommend asking your car rental company for winter tires or chains to stay safe on the alpine roads.
Do I Need Turkish Car Rental Insurance?
I personally find car insurance really confusing, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. In this guide, I’ve broken down what is included in the basic car insurance that comes with your rent car Turkey.
Mandatory Insurance for Turkish Car Rental
Basic and mandatory car insurance that comes with the rental car consists of three parts:
Third Party Liability Insurance (TPL)
TPL is the mandatory insurance for all cars in Turkey whether they are rented or not.
Theft Protection (TP)
Theft protection is the mandatory insurance for renting a car in Turkey. Theft protection is only valid if you comply with the terms of the rental agreement, meaning if your Turkey car rental is broken into and you left the car unlocked, the TP won’t protect you.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
CDW is the base collision damage waiver that protects you against damage to your rental car in the case of an accident. This base insurance coverage usually doesn’t include damage to wheels, windows, headlights, key replacements and costs for a tow.
In this case, the costs are covered by the deposit you put down with your credit card at the beginning of your car rental period. Base CDW also won’t work if you don’t comply with the terms of the rental agreements, like driving drunk, parking in non-parking zones, etc.
Optional Insurance for Renting a Car in Turkey (recommended!)
This is the part that most people can’t make a decision about. So, let me explain to you the benefit of purchasing the extended insurance option for your Turkey car rental and you can make a more informed decision.
Some people will have full coverage already included with their credit cards. Although I usually find credit card insurance a little finicky with many conditions and requirements for reimbursement. If you are not one of those people, I recommend considering optional insurance.
Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW)
SCDW is extended insurance or full coverage insurance provided at an additional cost through your rental car company.
In the event of an accident, you will be fully reimbursed by DiscoverCars or the Turkey car rental company you choose. Do note, that the initial cost of damage will come out of your security deposit, and be reimbursed within 48 hours of you submitting the claim documents required.
Claim documents usually include:
- The signed rental agreement
- The rental company’s assessment of the car’s condition (at pick up and drop off)
- Invoice of the rental car company charging you for damages
- Bank account details
- A detailed description of the accident including photos and and video evidence
- A police report (if applicable)
Make sure to keep these documents on you and in good condition in case of an accident.
How Much is Turkish Car Rental Insurance?
In most cases, you can expect to pay $10-20USD a day if you book a rental car in Turkey directly with the rental company. With DiscoverCars, it’s only an additional $7USD a day, which is at least 30% lower than booking directly.
If you book with Discover Cars, full coverage is 30% cheaper than booking directly with the rental car company!
Driving in Turkey:
Tolls While Driving in Turkey
You will likely hit a few toll in Turkey, but don’t worry, you don’t need to keep cash on hand to pay these tolls. Turkey has an HGS system that charges the toll electronically on Turkey toll roads through a device set in your rental car. Simply slow down to 30km/h and it will register the toll on your car.
Once you’ve returned your Turkey car rental, you will be provided with a bill of Turkey highway toll amounts you accumulated during your trip. Each toll can be upwards of 30TL ($2.25USD), which is really economical.
Fuel Availability While Driving in Turkey
There are plenty of gas stations available in Turkey both in urban centres and rurally. All gas stations in Turkey are full-service stations, meaning you will always have an attendant fill your car for you.
If you plan to pay with a credit card, take the receipt from the attendant inside of the gas station to pay. Keep your receipt of payment and show it to the gas attendant on your way out.
Whether you go for a cheap car rental Turkey or a luxury car rental Turkey, you can assume that you will be fueling your car with diesel rather than gas, since 80% of cars driving in Turkey today are fueled by diesel.
Make sure to ask your car company before heading out, just in case.
Speed Limits While Driving in Turkey
If you find yourself in an area that doesn’t have many speed limit signs, you can rest assured that the below speed limits are accepted and mostly practiced through the entirety of Turkey. While driving in Turkey as a tourist, it’s always better to go slow rather than faster if you are unsure.
The Speed Limit in Turkey:
- In built-up areas 50km/h
- Outside built-up areas 90km/h
- Motorways 120km/h
The speeding fines incurred while driving in Turkey depend on the speed you are exceeding the limit by. For exceeding the limit by up to 30%, you will receive a penalty of 235TL ($17.50USD). For exceeding the speed limit by more than 30%, the speeding fine incurred is 488TL ($36USD).
Parking While Driving in Turkey
Parking in Turkey is straightforward. Except for a few larger cities, you can find free and ample street parking. If you are parking at an attraction, prices may be upwards of 5-10TL which is only $0.75USD).
Rural parking is a breeze. If you are following this Turkey itinerary, there will be plenty of parking available to you via the street, so no worries there.
Do note, to self drive in Turkey and park illegally, you will be fined 66TL ($5USD) and your Turkey car rental may be towed away if it’s causing an obstruction.
NOTE | Make sure to contact your hotel before booking to ensure they have parking available for you.
Scams When Renting a Car in Turkey
As a rule of thumb, scams don’t happen that often in Turkey, but here are a few to look out for:
1. Empty Fuel Tank
Turkish car rental companies will give you a car with an almost empty fuel tank, just enough to get you to the nearest gas station. Since its difficult to calculate the consumption of gas in this way, you will likely return the car with more gas than you picked it up with. Resulting in saved money for the car rental company.
2. Not Making a Prepayment
If you decide to not make a prepayment on your Turkey car rental, you may be left without a car. The Turkish car rental company may offer you a more expensive car in its place, resulting in higher sales for the company.
I recommend reserving and putting down a prepayment before arriving in Turkey to avoid paying for a more expensive car.
3. Asking for a Passport
Some Turkey rental companies may ask for a passport as security for your car rental. This is not the best practice in Turkey and you should not hand over your passport. If they refuse to rent you a car without a passport, walk away and rent somewhere else.
4. Airport Parking Fees
It can be common when renting a car at the airport for rental company staff to bring you offsite to avoid parking fees.
Or bring you to the vehicle and depart quickly, leaving you to pay the parking fee at the gate to get out of the airport. Some rental companies will provide you with a prepaid parking card to pay for the gate fee, but not give you enough to cover the entire fee.
Driving in Turkey + Renting a Car in Turkey: Quick Facts
Renting a Car in Turkey:
City by City Guide
Car Rental Istanbul
The best place to rent a car in Turkey Istanbul is at the airport. Turkey has two main airports: Istanbul International Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). No matter which airport you land in, there will be cheap car rental Istanbul or luxury car rental Istanbul options for you. I recommend to rent a car Istanbul airport, so you can go straight from your flight to your car.
Should I rent a car Istanbul?
After spending over a week in Istanbul, I can say without hesitation, you do not need to rent a car in Istanbul to see all of the main highlights. In fact, I would recommend you don’t.
Istanbul is a major city and driving in Istanbul can be stressful, chaotic and confusing (to say the least), especially in the downtown tourist core. You are best off booking a stay at a centrally located Istanbul hotel and hoofing it.
The best car rental Istanbul can be found at the airport after you’ve spent time in Istanbul exploring the sights. From the Istanbul airport you can make your way to Cappadocia or down to Ephesus, which is a great drive.
Since you will likely land in Istanbul, and if you choose to rent car in Turkey, the Istanbul airport is where you should start.
Car Rental Izmir
Located on the west coast of Turkey, Izmir acts as a great base for day trips to Alicati, Ephesus, and Kusadasi. Car rental Izmir Turkey can be done conveniently at the Izmir Airport or from one of the many downtown locations.
Rent a car Izmir airport if you want to avoid the heavy downtown traffic that is common in Izmir and make it out of the city quickly.
Car Rental Cappadocia
Scooping up a Cappadocia car rental should be done early and quickly. Due to the popularity of the Cappadocia region, renting a car in advance is necessary. Because the Cappadocia highlights like hiking Pigeon Valley, sunrise at Love Valley and sunset at Red Valley are all far apart, I highly recommend a Cappadocia rental car to get around and get the most of your trip to this bucket list destination.
Simply pick up a prebooked Kayseri car rental or Nevsehir car rental, depending on what airport you land at. The best way to ensure you have a car waiting for you when you arrive in Cappadocia is to book through Discover Cars.
Car Rental Antalya
Antalya, the gem of the turquoise coast of Turkey is a great place to rent a car. Renting a car in Antalya allows you to make day trips to places like the Pamukkale thermal pools, local waterfalls, and towns like Kas and Fethiye. Since Antalya is so central along the coast, car hire Antalya is advisable and recommended.
You can rent a car Antalya airport located a 20-minute drive outside of town. Make sure your hotel has available parking.
Car Rental Ankara
Ankara is a big city, similar to Istanbul. Therefore, I don’t recommend a car rental in Ankara because it’ll add stress to your vacation or trip.
If you have already rented a car in Istanbul and are making the journey to Cappadocia, you can book a hotel on the outskirts of Ankara to avoid the traffic. Make sure to contact your hotel in advance to inquire about on-site parking.
If you are landing in Ankara, you can easily rent a car Ankara airport and make your way out of the city since the airport is located a 30-minute drive outside of Ankara proper.
Car Rental Fethiye
If you don’t want to bother with rigid guided tours to neighbouring attractions like Oludeniz and Butterfly Valley, you should rent a car in Fethiye. Traffic in Fethiye is pretty easy too, so renting a car here should be relatively straightforward.
You can either book a Dalaman airport car rental or opt for a car rental Fethiye close to old town.
Car Rental Pamukkale
If you are landing in the Denizli Airport, you can either take a shuttle or rent a car to get to Pamukkale. If you opt for a Denizli car rental, you can use your rental car even after your time at the Pamukkale hot springs.
Driving in Turkey is a great way to see the country, especially along the turquoise coast.
Final Thoughts on Renting a Car in Turkey
I hope you’ve found this guide on renting a car in Turkey helpful. Whether you are driving to Turkey or driving in Turkey, the same tips and tricks apply. Remember that a car rental in Turkey is the best way to see the country because you have the freedom to stop along the way and discover the hidden gems of the wondrous landscape and culture.
Driving in Turkey is truly such a pleasant experience, just make sure to book with a reputable company like Discover Cars. That way you can have a hassle-free and stress-free journey. Just pick up your Turkish car rental at the airport and go!